The BAC Mourns the Loss of Trustee Howard Elkus

  • 04/03/2017


  • BAC News

  • Boston Architectural College

Howard Elkus

It is with great sadness that The Boston Architectural College (BAC) shares news of the unexpected passing of Trustee Howard F. Elkus.

“Howard’s passing is an enormous loss to The Boston Architectural College, and to the entire design profession,” said Glen LeRoy, president of the BAC. “He was a visionary, a transformative member of our Board of Trustees, and a true friend. Howard was deeply committed to the College’s mission of providing design education to students who are underrepresented in architecture and the related industries. He will be profoundly missed by the BAC community.”

Howard was a legend who walked among us. He devotedly served The Boston Architectural College since 2009, first as an overseer and then as a trustee in 2015. He, as well as the firm he co-founded Elkus Manfredi Architects, were and are avid supporters of the College’s mission to provide any student the opportunity to pursue their dreams and study design. Howard was a great champion of our students and hired many to work in his firm. In addition to the firm’s philanthropic support, Howard was our chief volunteer fundraiser, co-chairing the Spring Gala for the past two years, and personally raised over $160,000 for this year’s Spring Gala. We will move forward with our Gala on Thursday, April 6 in the manner in which Howard would have wanted us to – in the spirit of enjoyment of such a special gathering of BAC friends.

Howard was an internationally acclaimed architect and urban designer responsible for the design of numerous widely acknowledged landmark projects during his distinguished career. Since co-founding Elkus Manfredi Architects in 1988 with architect David Manfredi, and previously as a principal of The Architects Collaborative, Howard’s work consistently broke new ground with diverse project types from single buildings to urban master plans on a grand scale. Together, with Manfredi, they built a major international architecture and design practice around their shared dedication to the value of place-making and community-building.

Trained as a mechanical engineer as well as an architect, Howard was noted for his elegant architectural resolutions to complex, multifaceted program requirements and difficult sites with daunting infrastructure constraints. His planning and design solutions are devoted as much to context as to form and appear disarmingly simple, disclosing no evidence of the challenges surmounted. Howard’s deep commitment to designing for the human scale has been at the international forefront of the movement to create livable environments that honor the old while celebrating the new. His body of work is a tour de force in visionary place-making.

Howard lectured widely in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His work has been featured in leading national and international design periodicals and books, as well as prominent news venues. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Master of Architecture with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

One of the youngest architects ever to be elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, Howard was the key designer of the AIA’s Washington, DC, headquarters in 1973.

The BAC has created a scholarship fund in memory of Howard Elkus. To learn more about the scholarship, please visit

Howard F. Elkus
b. San Francisco, California. April 12, 1938
d. Palm Beach, Florida. April 1, 2017